Google is building a new private subsea cable between Portugal and South Africa

Google today announced Equiano, a new private subsea cable that will connect Portugal and South Africa. The cable will be built by Alcatel Submarine Networks and the first phase of the project is scheduled for completion in 2021. In April, the WSJ first reported the company’s plans for this cable.

This is the company’s third private cable after Dunant between Europe and the U.S., and Curie, which spans between the U.S. and Chile. In addition, Google is also a partner in a number of cable consortiums that operate cables that span the globe.

Cloud Map with Equiano FINAL

The company notes that Equiano, which was named after Nigerian writer and abolitionist Olaudah Equiano, will be the first subsea cable that uses optical switching at the fiber pair level. This makes it easier to allocate capacity as needed.

Google also stresses that this new cable is able to carry about 20 times the capacity of the last cable that was built to serve this region. The cable will feature numerous branching units that it can then use to connect lines to other countries along the way. The first branch will connect the cable to Lagos, Nigeria. Other branches will follow in the future.

Unlike some of its competitors, Google does not currently operate any data centers on the African continent and has yet to share any plans to do so. This makes fast connections to Europe even more of a necessity, though it’s also possible that Google is putting this new cable in place to prepare for a data center launch in South Africa, for example.



Fitbit’s Ace kids’ fitness tracker gets a sequel

There are few things kids love more in this world than a good sequel. As such, Fitbit has returned a year after launching its children’s fitness tracker the Ace with the predictably named Ace 2.

The new version of the product has a bumper designed to protect the display from all of the things that kids throw at it on a regular basis. It’s also water-resistant up to 50 meters, so they can shower with it on or take it for a swim.

There are new colors and patterns, which bring to mind the color scheme of shows like Pee-wee’s Playhouse, coupled with animated clock faces that feature different activities that change throughout the day as activities progress. There’s a monster that grows throughout the day and a rocket ship that takes off, among others.

The Ace 2 hits retail this summer, just in time for all of that outdoor running around. It will be priced at $70.